Author: Sandy Wolters
Reviewer: Darian Wilk
When first reading the synopsis of this book I was intrigued, the idea of fate pulling two people together, people seemingly impossible to fall for loves tricks, well obviously, that’s right up my alley! I was eager to dive into this one, and not at all disappointed once I started reading.
Wolters did a superb job showing the emotion, the unexplainable connection between Maggie and Michael. The characters feeling the strange sensations they both feared to ever feel, yet not being able to deny its existence, was very well described. You could sense the rush, confusion, fear and hope in the wave of their meeting. And from there, you couldn’t help rooting for love to triumph fear, and to crush Rafferty’s twisted hopes for his relationship with Maggie.
I was so pulled into this story I had to keep turning the pages. Just as I was about to cheer that love would survive, I saw how many pages were left and braced myself for heartache. In one turn after another love was at your fingertips, and then pulled away, then within reach again. It was a thrilling ride Maggie and Michael’s whirlwind relationship took me on. So much so that I finished the book in one day. Yes, neglecting everything I had on the to-do list, I plopped my kids in front of the TV and put a movie on for them – I just had to see how this ended.
I could easily connect with these characters, getting wrapped up in their every emotion came easy, and I can’t even quite say why. Which right there, is a sign of solid writing. They were real characters; flawed, broken, hopeful and scared. Much like we all have been at some point in our life.
The ending held a few surprises in it, and I won’t indulge you with whether it left me heartbroken, or embracing the excitement of a ‘happily ever after’. I will say however that it held within it many sweet moments. Overall this was an excellent read, and well worth the guilt of making my kids watch TV for an entire afternoon. The way Wolters developed the bond between Maggie and Michael, and the challenges they met to fight or accept love was, well…for anyone who has seen The Notebook, that feeling – you’ll find it in this book. If you’re a fan of love, a fan of getting sucked into the story of people meant to be together – yet almost pulled apart by circumstance, you’ll love this book. Wolters masterfully produced one of the best love stories I have read in a very long time.
Playing with the Bad Boys (A Mia Ferrari Mystery)
Author: Sylvia Massara
Reviewer: Karen Bryant Doering, Parents' Little Black Book
When an exclusive international hotel chain hosts a party for the rich and famous, everything must be perfect. The food, the service, the body on the grand piano. Wait, that's not right. That doesn't seem to be on the menu or part of the entertainment.
Mia Ferrari is a hotel executive, a frustrated detective and a woman in the midst of a divorce. The daughter of a cop, Mia always wanted to follow in his footsteps. But all is not lost. Mia has a real life murder mystery to solve, or maybe not; the police think it was suicide. Determined to prove them wrong, she enlists the help of her family friend, co-worker and ex-cop. Is she right or does her animosity against the police chief cloud her judgement.
As if investigating foul play isn't enough on her plate she has to deal with a temperamental chef, an ex-boyfriend who is the owner of the hotel and his 18 year old son who does IT on a part-time basis. Emotional complications abound.
So do drug deals, love affairs, internet intrigue, international criminals, sexy cars and younger men.
Mia is a wonderful character who at 48 has a take-no-prisoners attitude. She is witty, gutsy, brave and headstrong. To ease her mind and relax, she cooks. Italian food. For that alone she has my vote for Hotelier of the Year.
The writing is tight with good flow and character development. The dialogue moves the plot forward effortlessly without needless narration or explanation. The twists and turns in the story are well done and the clues are inserted with seamless ease.
Although the author is Australian and the book is set in Sydney, Australia, the novel has been re-edited to American English and vernacular for the U. S. market. Very well edited I might add.
Gerald and the Wee People
Author: Greta Burroughs
Reviewer: Dannye Williamsen
In Gerald and The Wee People
, Greta Burroughs speaks to the imaginations of young adults as she catapults Gerald and his best friend Vernon into another world, stretching their ability to believe what is happening. Beyond the strangeness of this new world, however, they soon realize that it mimics their own in many ways. The pettiness, the prejudices, the love, the caring—both the good and the bad exist in both worlds, all contributing to the drama in their lives.
Gerald and Vernon find themselves in a surprising position, one for which they feel ill-equipped, because the wee people are inexplicably depending on them to help defeat their enemy. In the course of fulfilling their destiny, the mettle of the two boys is tested to the point of breaking. In my opinion, this young adult fantasy novel can be especially viewed as a coming of age story for Gerald as his experiences among the wee people contribute to both his psychological and moral development.
Greta Burroughs has a soft spot for children, and it shows in the way she is able to write from their perspective. This story would be enjoyable for adults as well, at least those who still have a little child inside who’s alive and well!
Surfing In Stilettos
Author: Carol E Wyer
Reviewer: Dannye Williamsen
The title of Carol E. Wyer’s book Surfing In Stilettos
brought strange visions into my head. Once I started reading, I realized that it was internet
surfing. I admit it was a letdown at first because I was looking forward to seeing how she could pull off some of those strange visions I’d had! It was only a short-term depression, however, because Wyer’s writing style and her stimulating characters took me on a thoroughly enjoyable ride!
Amanda Wilson, Wyer’s down-to-earth main character, drew me in immediately as she rebelled against the mundane and frustrating moments of her life by trying to reignite passion in her life. She writes a blog titled Fortifying Your Fifties
while vacationing in France. Her vacation, which turns out to be longer than she anticipated, and her blog open her up to all sorts of new adventures. Along with her newfound and her past friends, you will want to follow Amanda through her ups and downs, her foibles, her temptations, and her joy of discovery. Surfing In Stilettos
is the sequel to Mini Skirts & Laughter Lines.
Carol E. Wyer has a refreshing sense of humor. Having been given the title by her own blog followers of BOTUK, Bombeck of the UK, she showers you with comedy and heart, all wrapped up in British flavor and French eccentricities. Don’t miss this book!
Reviewed by Dannye Williamsen, Author of Second Chances
and The Threads That Bind